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Canon introduces the 4MP Powershot A80
Dennis Hissink : August 21th 2003 - 22:26 CET
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CanonCanon introduces the 4 Megapixel Powershot A80, the new top model of the Powershot A-series. The Powershot A80 has diverse functions which enables the photographer to be creative. New functions are: a complete new designed 3x optical zoom lens with a brightness of f2,8, a rotated LCD display and a 9-point AiAF (Artificial intelligence Automatic Focus). The engineers of Canon built a camera with the qualifications of the EISA 2002 European Camera of the Year Powershot G2 camera, but this time packed in a smaller and more stylish body with all the benefits of the nowadays technology. Canon's special developed, powerful DIGIC-processor makes is possible to capture series of 2.4 images per second.
Beside capturing still-images the Powershot A80 is also able to record a video clip of 3 minutes. Canon's iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis bases on Photographic Space) technology works like an assistant of the photographer and is using optimal camera settings to assure a fast auto focus and an improved clearness and white balance. This is Canons first digital camera that is compatible with the new industrial standard for direct printing, PictBridge. Via a direct connection between camera and printer it is possible to print without the use of a PC (only compatible PictBridge printers).

The camera is equipped with the same 4 Megapixel CCD as the Digital IXUS 400 and Powershot S45 cameras. The individual pixel of the CCD is, compared with the CCD of the Powershot A70, almost 50% larger. This will result into a high image quality suitable for prints up to a3 format (150dpi). The 14 record modes give the photographer all the freedom to control every situation by using automatic or semi-automatic modes. The Powershot A80 features Manual, Standard AE, Aperture priority and Shutter priority (normal modes for every advanced camera), but also 2 Custom modes. With these modes it is possible to store two favourite settings into the memory of the camera. The program Portrait and Landscape minimize or maximize the depth of field. The program Night gives priority to a longer synchronizing time for more realistic images with a balanced metering. StitchAssist enables the user to stitch multiple images to each other and with the help of the Canon PhotoStitch software it will be possible to stitch the images to a panoramic or poster format print. The camera is able to capture video clips of 3 minutes with sound, but can also play them or edit them. The Powershot A80 features digital photo effects like Hard, Neutral, small depth of field, Sepia and black and white. If the fully rotated LCD display is not in use it can be safely protected to the back of the camera. The monitor can be rotated 180 degrees so it will be possible to use the camera from almost any angle. It is even possible to rotate the monitor next to the camera to make it easier capturing self portraits.

Because of the rotating LCD monitor there is less room left for the optical lens system. Therefore a new designed optical system was needed in order to keep the camera compact. Although the CCD is larger compared to the other Powershot A-cameras Canon has been successful in developing a very compact f2.8 3x optical zoom lens (35mm: equiv. 38-114mm). To keep this compact lens not only sharp in the middle but also to the side of the glass Canon has used two aspherical lens elements. By placing an element to the back of the lens it has been possible to make this zoom lens faster on focusing. The brightness of f2,8 is perfect with dim light situations en for small depth of fields. The digital zoom function completes the zoom functions of the camera and creates a total zoom of 11x (optical + digital). The complex algorithms that are needed to process the data of white balance and color reproduction are integrated into Canons unique and very fast DIGIC-processor. This enables the Powershot A80 to capture high quality images without delaying any processing time. The DIGIC-processor is so fast that it is using less time and less energy. A set of batteries is capable of recording almost 250 images (250 images with LCD on) or displaying images for about 280 minutes. The camera is working on standard AA batteries or rechargeable AA-format NiMH batteries.

The total amount of focal points of the AiAF system (Artificial intelligence Automatic Focus has been extended to 9. This is the first time that such a powerful system has been used in a Powershot A-camera. The focusing is working very precise. Due to the Intelligent Imageposition sensor, which automatically calculates the position of the recorded image, the metering will also be more precise. At the same time the sensor is saving time because the images that will be viewed on a TV or computer will be positioned correctly. The 1-point central focusing can be combined with an enlarged view of the middle of the composition enabling a more precise manual focusing.

Water sport or diving devotees will be pleased to learn that an optional waterproof camera case is available (40 meter depth) complete with anti-condensate glass and flash diffusion. To increase the zoom range of the lens it is possible to use an adapter on the lens of the Powershot A80 camera. This adapter enables photographers to use a wide or tele converter providing a total zoom range of 26.6 - 200mm (35mm equivalent). There is also a macro converter available. The user needs no computer at home to produce high quality prints of the captures images. Via a USB cable the Powershot A80 can be connected directly to a PictBridge compatible printer of any brand. The camera also supports Canons Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct. During printing a Canon printer will always use the most ideal setting for speed and quality.
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